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An American Solution for VA Facilities: Improve Your Quality of Care

February 8, 2018 | by Brian Shoenfeld

The quality of care at VA hospitals is a focal point for key stakeholders: veterans, the U.S. government, American citizens, and assuredly the caregivers at VA facilities.

We celebrate VA hospitals that have achieved a four or five-star rating, such as the Providence VA Medical Center that employs efficient operating models. However, according to the latest report from the Department of Veterans Affairs, 14 VA hospitals received a one-star rating and 30 earned a two-star rating in the most recent evaluation.

Our veterans deserve the best medical care available to them. That is why we built a solution based on Lean operating principles to help maintain the quality of care at top-rated VA hospitals and provide assistance to hospitals that need to improve their quality of care.

And, because our products are Made in America, we are proud to directly impact the quality of care for our fellow Americans who served.

Consider One of Our Recommended Workflows to Improve Quality of Care at VA Hospitals

Our products and the workflows they enable help VA hospitals to optimize operational performance through small tests of change.

Our process of assessing and recommending a solution starts with understanding your operating model. After we understand the current-state workflow and its associated challenges, we will work together to formulate the ideal combination of medication management products and develop an action plan to experiment with this model.

For example, after working with hospital stakeholders to analyze how medications progress from the pharmacy to the patient, we frequently encourage a workflow that leverages Point-of-Use or In-Room Dispensing Cabinets.

VA Facility Workflow

With an In-Room Dispensing Cabinet system — whether a wall-mounted cabinet or pass-through cabinet — pharmacy technicians no longer have to track down specific BCMA carts in a large facility. Instead, the pharmacy technician can walk directly to the Talon cabinet in the patient’s room to enhance efficiency.

With this model, nurses will be free to move efficiently from patient room to patient room because the medication is already at the point-of-use.

This workflow directly impacts patient satisfaction and quality of care in VA hospitals because nurses can spend more time tending to veterans at bedside. It will also ensure a smoother, more cost-efficient, and safer operation.

Ensure Safety: Reduce the Risk of Error

The risk of medical error is the third leading cause of death in America, according to a recent report by Johns Hopkins. This risk is introduced in your facility every time an individual takes a specific medication for a specific patient while they also have full access to multiple medications at once.

Unfortunately, nurses are placed in this predicament each time they retrieve medication from an Automated Dispensing Cabinet, BCMA cart, or point of care cart with medication dispensing. Risk introduced from nurses dispensing medications at the medication room can be avoided by leveraging one of our recommended workflows for VA hospitals that incorporates in-room dispensing cabinets.

An essential principle of Lean methodology that Talon embeds in our processes is error-proofing. This includes creating processes with built-in safeguards to minimize the risk of mistakes. Additionally, MedKey Lite™ software that comes with In-Room Dispensing Cabinets only allows the nurse access to a single patient’s medication at a time — and only while at that patient’s bedside.

The added level of security from our MedKey solution paired with audit trail capabilities is a critical step towards optimizing your medication management workflow. This process improves efficiency and reduce the risks that impact operational performance.

Realize the Cost Benefits of Improving Quality of Care

The goal of our recommended workflows and products is to reduce the risk of medication errors, lower operational costs, and improve patient outcomes for our veterans. We want your facility to function more efficiently and for medication to be accurately administered at a moment’s notice.

By utilizing our recommended services, we can work together to help your VA facility maintain or improve quality of care while achieving recurring savings.

Find out how much your facility can save with in-room medication storage by opening the calculator on our VA Facility page. In the calculator, enter the following information for a more accurate savings estimate:

  • Number of hospital beds in your facility
  • Average number of patients per nurse
  • Average hourly rate of your nurses
  • Average hourly rate of pharmacy technicians

After entering this information, the calculator will provide you with the one-year, three-year, and five-year savings to evaluate your Return on Investment from utilizing this recommended solution.

Then, be sure to click the “Contact a Client Solutions Representative” button to complete the form with your information. By using the contact feature at the bottom of the calculator, we will receive the information entered in the calculator so that we can quickly follow up with you to address your specific needs.

We look forward to working with you to serve our veterans by maintaining or improving the quality of care at VA hospitals and generating a positive ROI for your organization.


About the Author

Brian Shoenfeld

Brian joined Talon in 2014 and brought with him a proven track record for project managing, product development, and increasing operational efficiency. Using his knowledge of STEM, business prowess, and healthcare experience, Brian leads Talon’s operational improvements to create better products and improved customer service. When he’s not in the office, Brian spends time with his wife and son and cheers on Syracuse.